For all my focus on my failures, I think the thing that keeps me hooked on Jiu-Jitsu are my continued successes. The times when I actually get a sweep to work against some Giant, or I somehow manage to take a Purple’s back. It’s those rare occasions, like when I finally submit (or even almost submit) someone for the very first time, that keep me coming back for more. Not because of some ego-driven need to dominate (okay, maybe a little bit ;) but mainly because of the joy I feel at doing something that used to be, or at least seem, impossible. That is how I know I am actually learning something, and the sense of accomplishment makes me want to climb on the rooftops and shout “I’m a playa!”
I had one of those moments today when I was grappling with Conan. I was just trying to relax and go with the flow, and focus on not letting him submit me. I don’t remember what I did that prompted his comment, but at one point he said
“Gina, you got skills”.
I got skills! I GOT SKILLS! I got skiiiiilllllllssss! I got ski-ills, I got ski-ills, I got ski-ills…oh, sorry, I’m just super excited. Conan’s never told me that I had skills before! He’s also never told me that I sucked, but I figured that was just because he was being polite.
The thing is, I didn’t even really need him to tell me that I’m improving, because I can tell. I know that I was grappling better against him today than I ever have in the past. Each small success builds on the previous one, and together they elevate my game. The more failures that it takes to get to that point, the greater the appreciation and happiness I feel when I finally succeed.
It was really nice to hear that Conan thinks I have skills, but it’s even nicer that I actually believe it myself. Just when I start to feel like all my hard work is in vain, I always accomplish something that makes it all worthwhile. Each small triumph keeps me hungering for more. Now if you’ll please excuse me, I’m heading for the rooftops…